Tornado

Ida Remnants Strike New Jersey

October 6, 2021 - 2:59pm -- Dave Robinson

Photo of flood debris from business establishments on Main Street in Manville on September 7 (photo credit: M. Holzer).

Post tropical storm Ida moved across the Garden State during the afternoon of September 1st into the early hours of the 2nd. It brought with it torrential rainfall, leading to flash and river flooding that took the lives of approximately 30 individuals and the rescue of countless more from raging waters. Additionally, it brought three tornadoes to southwestern and central areas, including the first EF-3 twister to strike New Jersey in 31 years. There were only minor injuries and no deaths from the tornadoes.

Ida developed in the Caribbean, being named a tropical storm on August 26th. From there, it moved northwestward, attaining hurricane status on the 27th as it passed over extreme western Cuba and moved into the Gulf of Mexico. It maintained a steady course as it strengthened into a major category 4 hurricane, making landfall in Louisiana on the 29th with sustained one-minute wind speeds as high as 150 mph. Once inland, winds diminished rather quickly but rainfall associated with the tempest remained heavy as the storm began to curve toward the northeast. This track remained quite steady as the storm weakened to a tropical depression on the 30th and became an extratropical low-pressure system as it approached the central Appalachians. On September 1st, Ida’s remnants merged with an advancing cold front as the system entered the Mid-Atlantic and crossed New Jersey before moving into southeast New England on the 2nd.

Everything but the Kitchen Sink: July 2021 Recap

August 5, 2021 - 7:55pm -- Dave Robinson

Tornado damage

Wow, what a month. July 2021 provided a never-ending cascade of weather events, including a tropical storm, a record-tying number of tornadoes, large hail, flash floods, hot days, chilly nights, smoke-filled skies, and on the last day of the month, perhaps the nicest day of the summer. The statewide average precipitation of 7.59” was 2.88” above the 1991–2020 normal and ranked 8th wettest of all Julys back to 1895. It was the wettest July since 1975 and second wettest in almost 50 years. The northern portion of the state averaged 8.16” which was 3.44” above normal. The south averaged 7.36” which was 2.62” above normal.

The average temperature of 75.8° was 0.4° above the 1991–2020 normal, but 1.9° above the 1895–2021 average. This ranked as the 24th warmest July since 1895. 13 of the 25 warmest Julys in the past 127 years have occurred since 2002. The nine July tornadoes is the most in a month since official records began in 1950. Tropical Storm Elsa was the earliest fifth storm of any season on record in the Atlantic basin. Read on for details on this potpourri of weather happenings.

Mother Nature Picking on Two NJ Communities!: July 2019 Recap

August 4, 2019 - 2:30pm -- Dave Robinson

Thunderstorm wind damage in Holmdel

With 565 incorporated communities in New Jersey, one would think that the odds of multiple significant weather events specific to any one of them within a month would be exceedingly rare. Yet July 2019 brought such a duel scenario to not one but two NJ townships. Mt. Laurel (Burlington County) was visited by two tornadoes, while one rain gauge in Stafford Township (Ocean) caught 5.00” in two separate 24 hour periods. More specifics are provided later in this report. The good news is that, despite damage occurring in each of the four events, there were no fatalities nor reported injuries.

The month as a whole was a wet one, averaging 6.15” across the state. This is 1.58” above the 1981–2010 mean and ranks as the 20th wettest since 1895. Northern counties were wettest, averaging 7.20” or some 2.45” above normal and ranking 16th wettest. The south averaged 5.61”, which is 1.12” above normal and ranks 29th wettest.

Ten of the past 12 months and 15 of the past 18 months have received above-average precipitation across the state. While the 12 months ending in January this year ranks as wettest (66.61”) of 1484 such intervals dating back to 1895, the past 12 month period ending in July comes in second place with 65.74”, just ahead of the 12 months ending in June (65.50”).

Frequently Wet: May and Spring 2019 Recaps

June 5, 2019 - 11:08pm -- Dave Robinson

Stanhope tornado damage

As was seen earlier this spring, rainfall was quite persistent during a good portion of May. However, unlike April, it was not just a matter of frequency but ultimately, quantity that made for soggy conditions in the fifth month of 2019. The statewide average precipitation was 6.70”, which is 2.71” above the 1981–2010 mean. This made for the 9th wettest May since records commenced in 1895. The northern half of NJ was wettest, averaging 8.69” (+4.35”), making it the 3rd wettest on record. Only May 1989 (10.13”) and 1984 (9.79”) saw more rain. The south averaged 5.52” (+1.72”), ranking 17th wettest.

Based on observations from 62 NJWxNet stations, there were only two calendar days (22nd and 25th) without measurable (0.01”) rainfall at any location. Three days saw a maximum of 0.01”–0.10” at one or more stations, nine with a maximum between 0.11”–0.25”, and eleven topping out from 0.26”–0.99”, while on six days one or more station received an inch or greater.

The wet conditions were accompanied by above average temperatures. The 62.7° statewide average was 2.1° above the 1981–2010 mean. This ranked as the 19th mildest May on record (tied with 1985). However, it is only the 8th warmest May since 2004. Ten of the past 12 months have been above average.

A Potpourri of Weather: June 2017 Summary and Mid-Year Recap

July 5, 2017 - 5:19pm -- Dave Robinson

Rainbow photo

Occasionally there are months that defy a “directional” theme when it comes to the weather and climate conditions experienced across the Garden State. In other words, conditions didn’t lean markedly toward, for example, wet or dry, cold or warm, or calm or stormy. June 2017 was one of those “potpourri” months. There were thunderstorms with drenching rain and even two tornadoes occurred, yet there were stretches of comfortable, dry weather. There was a three-day heat wave, with the temperature going as high as 97°, and some cool nights, with 35° being the coldest observed temperature in the state. When the precipitation was added up, the statewide average came out to 3.34”, which was 0.67” below the 1981–2010 mean of 4.01” and ranks as the 54th driest June of the past 123 years. The statewide average temperature of 70.5° was 0.7° above average. This ranks as the 27th mildest June on record.

A Tranquil October (Imagine That!): October 2013 Summary

November 4, 2013 - 12:00am -- Dave Robinson

Damage from tornado in Paramus on October 7th. Photo Credit: Michael Harger
Following the past two October 29ths, it was wonderful to see sunny skies and seasonable maximum temperatures ranging from the mid to upper 40°s in the northwest to the low to mid 60°s in south this 29th. As a matter of fact, aside from a strong frontal passage blowing through the north on the 7th and a stubborn coastal storm impacting the south from the 9th-12th, conditions were quite tranquil throughout most of October 2013. A summer-like first week was the major contributor to the statewide monthly average temperature of 57.1° coming in 2.3° above normal. This ties with 1950 and 1951 as the 20th mildest October since statewide records commenced in 1895.

October begins with record warmth, a tornado, and strong winds

October 9, 2013 - 12:00am -- Dan Manzo

Damage from tornado in Paramus

The first week of October was nothing but bizarre, or at least to most New Jerseyeans it seemed that way. The period included unseasonably warm weather, heavy rain, strong winds and even a tornado. It was all credited to a stationary front that held in position in Southern New York, which allowed warm air to enter the Garden State. The warm air was later pushed out, when a sharp and potent cold front from the Midwest set off severe storms and heavy rain in parts of the area.

Yet another hot summer month: July 2013 Summary

August 4, 2013 - 12:00am -- Dave Robinson

Tornado Damage in Berkeley Heights

July 2013 marked yet another in a lengthening sequence of hot mid-summer months across New Jersey. Most notable this year was the frequency of unusually warm nighttime temperatures. Accompanying the warmth and often excessive humidity were widely varying rainfall totals, which on a statewide basis averaged above the long-term mean. The statewide average temperature of 78.2° was 3.2° above average. This ranks as the 5th warmest July since records commenced in 1895. Remarkably, the most recent four Julys all are within the top six, with three other Julys from the last 20 years also populating the top 10.

The statewide average temperature of 78.2° was 3.2° above average. This ranks as the 5th warmest July since records commenced in 1895 (Table 1). Remarkably, the most recent four Julys all are within the top six, with three other Julys from the last 20 years also populating the top 10.

Union County towns see rare tornado

July 3, 2013 - 1:24pm -- Tom Karmel

Tornado Damage in Berkeley Heights

Mary Borsos walked toward her backdoor the morning of July 1 in Berkeley Heights (Union County) and noticed the rain falling in heavy sheets. “It didn't seem like anything unusual due to all the rain and thunderstorms we’ve had these past couple weeks.”

However, she quickly noticed the wind pick up, and took her three grandchildren a couple steps into the dining room away from windows. Within those couple steps, she heard trees begin to snap and branches pound the house. In what she described as “no more than two minutes”, Borsos’ yard was littered with downed trees, snapped power lines, and scattered outdoor furniture. Little did Borsos and many know, three towns encountered their first ever documented tornado.

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